From Bitter to Sweet: A Single Mom’s Journey with the Lord
This Mother’s Day, we’d like to honor moms such as Corr-na who journeyed courageously with God despite setbacks.
By Alivia Kan
Tien Corr-na is a banking executive who became a single mom at 39. With two young children to raise, the road ahead seemed long and lonely. Over a decade later, she shares that she never parented “alone” – and that all moms can live victoriously in Christ no matter the season.
Tell us more about yourself and your journey as a single parent. When did you become a single mom and how old were your children then?
It was 11 years ago when my girls were just five and eight years old. They are 16 and 19 this year.
At the onset, I was fearful at the thought of being the sole breadwinner; of taking on the role of mother and father; of not having someone to back me up in times of emergency.
One day, I cried my heart out as I thought about my children having to grow up in a single-parent household. I was afraid that in the future, they would be insecure and have low self-esteem.
"Why don't you trust me to take care of your children?"
Suddenly, the Lord spoke to my heart: “Why don’t you trust Me to take care of your children?” My heart skipped a beat; I knew it was His voice.
Deep assurance came over me. I responded, “Yes Lord, I will trust you to take care of my children!” The burden I felt of parenting alone was lifted off my shoulders.
Over the years, I held tightly onto the promise that God Himself would make my children whole. He would care for their emotional, psychological, and mental needs. At the same time, His Spirit would empower me to be a firm yet supportive parent. While there were moments when I needed to discipline them, I give God the credit for how they have matured. My daughters’ childhood experiences have shaped them into empathetic individuals who have soft spots for those from similar family backgrounds. It has been a joy and blessing to raise them.
How has God provided for you through your family and church community?
Looking back, God has provided abundantly for all three of us and has even given my daughters supportive peers. My days as a single mother grew sweeter as God’s abiding Presence continued to grant us great peace. However, when my girls were about to enter primary school, I was quite anxious about their studies. I wanted them to grow up in a good school but did not know which school would be the best fit for them.
An unexpected phone call
When my eldest was due to attend Primary One, I realized that I had not asked God for His direction in this area.
I then sat my daughter down and asked her to pray that God would show Mommy with absolute certainty which school is best for her.
The next day, I received an unexpected call from the highly esteemed principal of my alma mater. Though it had been years since I graduated and she had already retired, she got hold of my contact by chance and called to ask me about my children. When she heard about their situation, she advised me to enroll them in my alma mater.
If not for God’s prompting, what are the chances that my former principal would call me, an average student whom she did not know personally? I knew that this call was God’s divine orchestration.
Both my daughters enrolled there, and it proved to be a very supportive environment for my girls after my divorce. My girls were able to utilize the school’s bus service, which significantly shortened their traveling journey, and they even continued their secondary education there.
God’s plan is perfect, and it’s amazing how He directs our paths when we allow Him to do so.
What are some Biblical promises that encouraged you in difficult seasons and why?
During Mother’s Day services, there would be times when Lead Pastor Dominic Yeo would pray for single mothers and share that God has a special grace for us. It’s true!
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation
The Bible says:
"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity….” (Psalms 68:5-6, NKJV)
From the start of my journey as a single mother, I have felt God’s assurance deep in my heart that He would take care of our family. In many ways, He continues to make me feel that I’m His beloved and under the shadow of His wings.
Do you have any encouragement or helpful tips for other single moms?
Jesus has a special place in His heart for you. He holds all mothers who have been rejected, abandoned, or abused by their partners close to His heart. He knows your pain of not having a husband as a loving protector and provider.
He desires to be your defender and healer. He will help you.
Jesus has a special place in His heart for you
Understanding perfect love and forgiveness
If you find yourself struggling to release hurt from the past, there is hope. Previously, I used to feel the sting of my divorce even though I had prayed many times to forgive my ex-spouse.
However, I was referred to attend Divine Exchange and Wholeness (DEW) sessions at Trinity where I experienced deep healing in Christ. In DEW, a prayer minister asked me if I was willing to relinquish my right to be angry. I realized that this was the root of my problem. Without surrendering, I would always be a slave to bitterness and the past. Once I surrendered my right to be angry about past injustices, I felt completely liberated. It may not be easy to love and reconcile with those who hurt us, but God will help us to do so. When we do, Christ sets us free. If you’re finding it difficult to let go of the past, you do not need to fight your battles alone. There are loving people in our faith community who can guide you to resources to help you in this journey. As God heals your heart, He will help you to see people and circumstances with a Godly perspective. He can even use your painful experiences to be a great encouragement to others in the future.
"We love because He first loved us…. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." (1 John 4:19-21, NIV)
Fully satisfied in Christ
For single mothers who have a deep longing for a companion, involve God in the process. God loves you unconditionally and has a good, pleasing, and perfect will for your life.
While godly companionship is good, no person can meet all our needs. People will disappoint and fail us; Jesus, however, is the only true gentleman who knows how to love us till the end. He will never reject or forsake us. If you have not understood or experienced that kind of love yet, seek Him with all your heart. The Lord is so willing to bless you with the fullness of His Presence. You will find yourself truly satisfied in Him!
How can we bless the moms in our lives, especially on Mother’s Day?
Get to know your mother’s love language and ask God to show you what she needs most this season.
Here are my simple tips:
A letter to your mom about how much you love and appreciate her
Completing the household chores so that she has more time to rest
Having an intimate conversation over a meal
Praying with her to assure her that her future is secure and full of hope in Christ!
Every mother is special. To all mothers who have faced various trials and have had their hands full in the journey of motherhood, we especially celebrate Mother's Day because we see living proof of Christ’s overwhelming victory in you!
"Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." (Proverbs 31:31, NIV)
We are always delighted to receive testimonies. Give God the glory and write to firstname.lastname@example.org to celebrate what God has done in your life.
Reflect & Respond
Are you a mother? How has God walked with you in your journey and been at work in your personal life?
Are you grateful for your mom? Download one of Trinity’s personal Mother’s Day e-cards and send it with a heartfelt message!
About the Author
Alivia Kan is sometimes whimsical and usually craving a second (or third!) cuppa. She always desires to walk with Jesus and have a well-watered soul.
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